Skip to main content
Harvard University Press - home
Minds, Brains and Science

Minds, Brains and Science

John R. Searle

ISBN 9780674576339

Publication date: 01/01/1986

Minds, Brains and Science takes up just the problems that perplex people, and it does what good philosophy always does: it dispels the illusion caused by the specious collision of truths. How do we reconcile common sense and science? John Searle argues vigorously that the truths of common sense and the truths of science are both right and that the only question is how to fit them together.

Searle explains how we can reconcile an intuitive view of ourselves as conscious, free, rational agents with a universe that science tells us consists of mindless physical particles. He briskly and lucidly sets out his arguments against the familiar positions in the philosophy of mind, and details the consequences of his ideas for the mind-body problem, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, questions of action and free will, and the philosophy of the social sciences.


  • Wittgenstein once remarked that a philosopher who doesn’t engage in public debate is like a boxer who never enters the ring. By this standard, John Searle is a true prizefighter. In recent years he has taken on Noam Chomsky, the champion of modern linguistics; Jacques Derrida, the heavyweight of post structuralism; and endeavored to deal a knock-out blow to the pretensions of artificial intelligentsia.

    —Trevor Pateman, Times Higher Education Supplement


  • John R. Searle is Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Book Details

  • 112 pages
  • 5-3/4 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press